What’s White Is Wrong

12-days-of-healthy-holidays-3

Are those visions of sugar-plum fairies dancing in your head? Sure, it might seem like a crime not to at least TRY your family’s signature sugar cookie recipe. But before you overindulge, let’s take a closer look at the power of the white stuff. And no, I’m not talking about snow…

Most of us have already gotten the message loud and clear: Sugar is bad. But not many of us realize just how serious a threat sugar can pose to our health and well-being.

The trick with desserts is to acknowledge your cravings and make informed choices about your indulgences. Sweets are not necessarily off-limits; the occasional dessert can still fit into your healthy lifestyle. Here’s how:

  • Be prepared.

    Anticipate your cravings, especially around holidays. During these times, eat a bit more protein, chew some peppermint gum or suck on a piece of hard candy to keep your cravings in check.

  • Savor the flavor

    . Register every creamy bite of your chosen treat very, very slowly. The experience of the food is a big part of the satisfaction derived, and you’ll need less food to be satisfied if you enjoy it slowly.

  • Be choosy.

    If a treat isn’t absolutely fabulous, stop eating it! Why waste calories on a piece of chocolate or slice of cake that’s just OK? If you’re going to go for it, have something divine. Anything less is simply not worth it.

  • Dine for dessert.

    When you sit down to a meal and know you intend to have dessert, eliminate the starch group from that meal. Your dessert here will count as a starch.

  • Be guilt-free.

    Eat your treat, enjoy it slowly and smile afterwards contentedly. Instead of making sweets off-limits, change your relationship with sweets so you control them instead of them controlling you.

This holiday season, swap out your sugary cookie recipe with this healthier option:

healthy-pumpkin-cookiesPumpkin Spiced Cookies
Recipe from Kris Carr

-2 C. Whole rolled oats
-8 oz. Pumpkin puree
-1 Small ripe banana, chopped
-1/3 C. sliced almonds
-3 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
-1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-¼ tsp. fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with a natural olive oil or canola oil cooking spray. Combine pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix on high with a hand mixer until mostly smooth, about two minutes. Fold in the oats, almonds and flax using a large wooded spoon until the mixture is uniform. Form 6 large cookies and bake for 14-16 minutes until set. They will stay soft but hold together well. Let cool 10 minutes before eating. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

This recipe also works well if you make 12 small cookies of equal size and bake for 11-13 minutes.

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